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Bill,

The records stored in the ERP will continue to be retained as electronic
records. I don't happen to believe that the retention of permanent records
in electronic format is a pipedream. I in fact am actively trying to
implement a digital archives here. Archival theory maintains that the media
in which a record is created has an intrinsic value. Microfilm has been an
affordable alternative to storing massive quantities of deteriorating
records. Printing the record out to microfilm or paper devalues the
intrinsic value of the record. Granted moving records to film has its place,
after all five hundred years is a long time.  I unfortunately don't have the
resources to maintain duplicate systems in that manner. And while I have the
training and expertise to manage a microfilm system I a cannot be sure my
successor will.

The value of the ERP and data warehouse is not in question and nothing I
recommend or propose will be allowed to negatively impact the performance of
either. However, some of the records in the ERP need to be removed from the
system. Several series of records have reached their retention period and
need to be destroyed.

If a records is required to be created, the information is collected
electronically, entered into the ERP automatically, the tables are mirrored
into the data warehouse, populated with information, where does the record
reside. By default the record is the database. If a report is generated from
the database scheduled and disposed of all that has been removed is a
version of record, the current record copy. However, the record continues to
exist in the database. The requirement has not been met to remove record
from existence.

Doesn't Prism make database/data warehouse applications?

My IT folks have the same answer to altering a database, it can be done it's
just wrong.

Even if the data warehouse were an "modern archive", a position I am not
comfortable with, the re-appraisal process is a reality in any archives.
Circumstance requires that values change and so does an archive. Bankruptcy
records were originally scheduled as permanent records, now they have very
short retention.

I am not arguing for the creation of more paper. Quite the contrary. The
audit trail for electronic transactions needs to maintained electronically.
But, it does need to be created and maintained. Simply because a transaction
is carried out electronically doesn't mean that an audit need not exist. The
records are being created at the ATM. They are being logged into a database
and retained for a specified amount of time? I can't answer that. The banks
in this neck of the woods made headlines because they were keeping account
records forever. They were able to do this because technology allowed them
to do this. What possible beneficial use to the individual could retaining
an permanent active audit of all transactions since day one have? The
snapshot of activity, kept forever could in fact have the effect of
violating a persons rights. Not to mention opening a institution up to huge
liability issues. All information needs to be managed well. All records need
to be scheduled. All schedules need to be applied.

Chris Flynn, CA CRM
Records Officer
University of Idaho
[log in to unmask]
208/885-4408




-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On
Behalf Of Roach, Bill J.
Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2000 6:59 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Scheduling Data Warehouses and ERP's


Chris,

I am not convinced that what you have in place at present is so bad.  I
agree that records of all types and formats, including those stored on an
ERP need to have assigned retention periods. However, I find nothing wrong
with keeping records in electronic format for long periods of time.  Granted
permanent retention using electronic technologies is only a pipedream. But
consider this, microfilm has a LE of about 500 years. In my mind that's a
long ways from permanent.  So what makes microfilm a "permanent" retention
medium.  Paper is not much better.  If you remember one of Peter's postings
last fall, the British Parliement is still unconvinced that paper has been
proven itself sufficiently to warrant its replacement of parchment.

I also think we have to consider that not everything maintained in a
computer is a record, regardless of whose definition you choose.  In my
mind, data in a database is not a record, until it is structured into some
kind of structured format (read reports). I agree that integration of an ERP
system with the EDMS system would be beneficial.  However, I do not believe
we should ever place a copy of ERP information in an EDMS system just for
record keeping purposes. That's just unnecessary duplication. (One copy, in
one place, accessible to authorized personnel when they need it.)

I also question why deleting information from a data warehouse is important.
The nature of a data warehouse is to retain "snapshots" of activity.  Is
that so different from a traditional archive?  Some believe that "it may be
unethical or even illegal for the snapshots in the data warehouse to be
altered". (http://www.cait.wustl.edu/papers/prism/vol1_no1/)

I do believe that a problem may exist where web forms are used to gather
data. Arguing that since the data exists, the transaction must have taken
place, makes as much sense as a car thief stating that possession of the car
equates to ownership.  However, circumstances vary, even when considering a
single type of record.  Consider your checking account.  The cancelled check
is a necessary record for proving payment.  However, payments with debit
cards or withdrawals from cash machines are just as valid without a paper
record.  Each circumstance must be reviewed individually to determine
whether a "record" is required.

Just my opinion,

Bill Roach, CRM
North Dakota ITD/Records Management
701-328-3589